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Family of Ashland murder suspect says killer remains on the loose

 Posted: 3:15 PM October 16, 2013

The family of murder suspect Merlin Elmo Bound believe he was in the wrong place with the wrong person and that a former roommate was the killer.

Bound, 34, was arraigned this afternoon on charges of murder, robbery and assault in the death of Frank Ronald Damiano, 62, also known as Tony Della Penna.

Damiano was found dead in his home in the Bear Creek Mobile Home Park on Corral Lane in Ashland at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 10, according to the Jackson County Sheriff's Department.

Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Tim Barnack ordered Bound to be held without bail. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Oct. 23.

Malinda Bound said her husband fell in with a "terrifying" roommate whom she believes committed the murder. The roommate has since left the area, she said.

"(Bound) didn't do it and we have to get him out of there," she said.

Police have not indicated that a second suspect has been identified in the case.

Jackson County District Attorney Beth Heckert, who has taken on the case, declined to comment on whether a second suspect may be on the loose.

"There is a lot of investigating left to do and leads that need to be followed," Heckert said.

— Chris Conrad

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